Catherine - Last night I heard a monkey and instantly googled Monkeys in Florida to ensure that I was correct in my assumption. Indeed, there are non-native feral monkeys here, released in the 1930s. I was excited so the next time I heard the monkey I went outside to search for it. Low and behold I found my monkey in the shape of a miniature poodle playing with a squeaky toy.
Sometimes what I believe is not entirely true and can be downright wrong.
How was I so wrong but so certain?
How many times have I been right, but wrong?
How many times have I listened and believed others who were right, but wrong?
Many family and friends thought we were crazy to come to the USA in these interesting political times. If it wasn’t the interesting political times, it would have likely been some other reason not to go. There are a million excuses to not do something but is inaction the correct course? Not for me.
Kathryn and I have chosen to not discuss politics (or religion) unless we are asked directly what we think. If a comment is made or a conversation started we restrain from making our judgement known and we listen versus responding. Being out of our space and choosing to listen has been a great gift.
Recently we were out of our comfort zone. We booked a campsite through Hipcamp (www.hipcamp.com) in the middle of Florida. It was remote. We blindly followed the GPS along densely forested roads, ending eventually at a property owned by a couple who had a teenage daughter. The first thing I noticed was an old confederate flag on a trailer window and a discarded Trump/Pence election sign and I thought “What have we gotten ourselves into?”
Do you know what we got ourselves into? Being able to share this couples beautiful property. To meet a family who were polite respectful and courteous. The daughter knocked on our trailer door to let us know they were going target shooting, she talked to us while she was fishing, the father brought us wood, fire starter and more wood. Everyone stopped and took the time to chat.
In the end I learned a little bit about a family in the Southern US and they may have learned a little bit about two lesbians and a cat travelling together. None of us are extremists; we are all people trying to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. This was a stereotype I was nervous to encounter and I was thankful to have my prejudice blown apart.
Kathryn - This is one of the most beautiful beaches that I have been to in my life, so serene and magical. Few people were there that day and it felt like we had the entire beach to ourselves. We spent hours watching the little birds dart around in front of the surf. Definitely stay at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park if you are ever in the area.